Southington coach Mike Linehan recognizes where the Lady Knight soccer team is right now as they approach the midpoint of the season. It’s just a matter of working on those little things that will propel the Knights into the Class LL tournament for the second-straight year.
With nine games remaining, the Knights are just three games shy of another postseason appearance, and Linehan said that with the remaining games on their schedule, he is confident the team will make the state tournament.
“There’s always a fine margin between winning and losing,” the coach said. “It could be one pass or one shot that could make the difference between a win and a loss.”
The Knights will be back on the turf next week when they host divisional NW Catholic (2-5) on Monday, Oct. 2 and then head out on the road for Platt (0-5-1) on Friday, Oct. 6. Southington is currently 4-3.
Loss at Farmington
SEPT. 25—Although the Knights outshot the Indians, 17-5, they still fell by a goal, 2-1, to suffer their second-straight loss after at Farmington on Monday.
“The game of soccer doesn’t always reward, sometimes, the better team,” said Linehan. “The game didn’t reward us for our efforts, but it highlighted an area that we’re getting better at, and that is finishing our opportunities.”
The Knights came out and completely controlled the first 20 minutes of the game. Ally Carr assisted Katherine Crouse with the first goal of the game in the first half.
“The goal was a result of that effort,” the coach said. “It was a nice combination that we’ve been working on.”
Moments later, Farmington’s Izzy Lipinski headed in a Taylor Hennig corner kick to knot the score by halftime.
“They threw it up in the middle of the box, she (Lipinski) came in clearly uncontested, and dropped it into the goal,” said Linehan. “It was high in the air, and there’s no way anyone was going to get it. It was a nice header.”
After the Knights controlled the remainder of the first half, Farmington’s Alex Scott broke away from Southington’s defense in the second half and netted the game-winning goal in the 55th minute.
Win at Bloomfield
SEPT. 28—The Knights rounded out the week by breaking their two-game losing streak to earn their fourth win and shutout of the season after blanking Bloomfield, 8-0, on the road on Thursday.
“If we had to compare athleticism, they would win that category,” said Linehan. “They’re just still a young program, in regards to soccer, but they’re very competitive and are going to do well in their division.”
Southington’s first goal didn’t come until about midway through the first half in a slow start, but Natalie Verderame and Carr managed to give the Knights a 2-0 lead at halftime. Verderame returned to score two more goals in the second half to finish with the hat trick.
Other goals by Crouse, Emma Panarella, Shannon Litchfield, and Carr in the second half capped off the victory for the Knights. Litchfield, Crouse, Carr, and Taylor Hubert contributed with assists.
The Knights took 21 shots on goal. Olivia Sherwood saved two shots on goal.
“They were very athletic and bigger and stronger than we were, but we were just better at the game and a little more organized,” the coach said. “It’s a very tough, grass field and a very difficult environment to play on. I was pleased that we settled down, but they fought to the end.”
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/10/04/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-oct-6-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.